Sometimes you get to do something nice, and having the right tools makes it easier to do that more often. Our mission (and we chose to accept it) was to rehab a bucket truck for a local outreach ministry. This also, of course, gave us the perfect opportunity to see if a set of 3/4″ 6pt. SONIC Tools impact sockets could get the job done. SONIC Tools USA is headquartered in Auburn, Alabama, and they distribute professional tools through their online store. It was perfect timing as a great opportunity arose to give these impact sockets some real-world testing—our preferred way to review any tools.
Parker Street Ministries is an inner-city mission that’s responsible for rehabilitating a large portion of a community in Downtown Lakeland, Florida. They are heavily involved with renovating homes and handing over the keys to local residents that wouldn’t typically be able to qualify for homeownership.
Along with renovating homes comes the need to mow yards, prune hedges and trim the large oak trees that pepper this community. A 1990 GMC 7500 Topkick Versalift bucket truck provides a much easier way to reach limbs up to 50 feet off the ground. The bucket truck, which became our personal mission field for this review, needed some much overdue TLC, to say the least.
SONIC Tools Impact Sockets
It’s no secret around here at Shop Tool Reviews as to the quality of the brand. The Sonic Tools impact sockets were no exception. Made from chrome molybdenum (Chrome-Moly or CrMo) steel and a phosphate finish, these impact sockets definitely look the part. CrMo is an alloy steel intended for high temperature and high-pressure services. Manufacturers often use Chrome-Moly because of its tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and high-temperature strength.
Like other Sonic Tools S10 toolsets we’ve received from Sonic, the impact sockets came delivered in an organized laser cut foam tray. First, we cut off the shrink-wrap. Second, we laid the foam insert and sockets into the bottom drawer of our Sonic Tools S10 Toolbox. Sonic gets a big thumbs-up for removing the thought process behind making additional purchases and organizing new tools.
Working on the GMC 7500, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000-33,000 lbs., you don’t see many small fasteners. Just removing the front wheels for a brake inspection, we broke out our 3/4″ Makita cordless impact wrench and our Sonic Tools 3/4″ drive 33mm impact socket.
1/2″ vs 3/4″ Impact Sockets
Some may ask why they need a 3/4-inch drive line of tools. The answer may surprise you. Stepping up to a 3/4″ drive from a 1/2″ drive does more than increase available sizes.
The 3/4-inch drive sockets have a thicker socket wall. This greatly aids in adding rotational mass. This, in turn, exponentially increases the torque of the tool applying the force. Additionally, the 3/4″ anvil (square) provides more mass and more surface area for striking the socket, which in turn increases that torque applied to the bolt.
Included in the Sonic impact sockets set were several accessories such as extensions, universal adapter, and 3/4″-to-1″ adapter. Having these accessories in true impact form really helps when the fastener you are working on is hard to reach. Working under and around this truck required fitting in spaces already accompanied by hydraulic hoses and fittings. Using the extension and universal was a must and they performed flawlessly.
Make and Finish
As mentioned previously, the sockets and accessories use Chrome-Moly steel, and we love the matte black (phosphate) finish. The Sonic logo and the socket size come laser etched on each piece. While this looked as if it might wear off, our testing showed that it was there to stay.
Sonic sent us this set with the sockets looking beautiful and ready for a photoshoot. We know there aren’t any mechanics in need of 3/4″ impact sockets who are worried about polishing their sockets. In all seriousness, we all like to keep clean tools, and these sockets clean up nice by just wiping with the nearest shop rag.
These Sonic Tools impact sockets feature great build quality. They used the right metallurgy—Chrome-Moly (CrMo)—and the socket walls have plenty of girth. The phosphate finish is durable but yet cleans up well, and the laser etching of the label is mar-resistant as well.
In the end, these Sonic Tools impact sockets accomplish the job efficiently and quickly. The Sonic guarantee behind these is pretty simple. If you break it, email them a pic, and they will send you a new piece. Add to all this the quality of organization of the tools when they get to you, complete in a laser-cut foam drawer insert, and you have a recipe for awesomeness.
Check out the full line of Sonic Tools USA here.